Great Britain’s men’s curlers are guaranteed a medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics after winning their semi-final against the United States.
Bruce Mouat’s team held their nerve to beat the Americans 8-4 and book their place in Saturday’s Olympic final against Sweden.
Fighting back from a nightmare start in which they conceded two with the ‘hammer’ in the first end, they led by a point at the halfway stage.
The Americans blanked three consecutive ends as they sought a bigger return for their last stone advantage, but were forced to give one away in the ninth.
Armed with a 6-4 lead going into the final end, Mouat’s team retained control, and when US skip John Shuster’s final attempted take-out went awry, the Britons’ advance was secured.
Earlier, Mouat’s men’s team made sure of a shot at a place in the final by brushing aside Canada to finish top of their round-robin standings.
Mouat’s side claimed a 5-2 win to end an impressive group stage with an 8-1 record.
The Swedes – skipped by veteran Niklas Edin, whom Mouat’s men defeated earlier in the competition – defeated Canada in the second semi-final.
Great Britain’s women squeezed into the semi-finals by 10 centimetres as Eve Muirhead fashioned a great escape at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing.
Muirhead, a bronze medallist in Sochi in 2014, went into the last match of the round-robin phase against the Russian Olympic Committee requiring at least three results to go her way in order to book a top-four spot.
The 31-year-old kept her side of the bargain with a brilliant double take-out in the penultimate end to score four and seal a 9-4 win, then waited nervously while Sweden beat South Korea in order to guarantee their place.
“We were in the mixed zone watching TV – I don’t think many of us could really watch the screen,” said team-mate Jennifer Dodds, who will now get a second shot at guaranteeing an Olympic medal after missing out in the mixed event.
“You never know and we were not 100 per cent sure. But when we got it confirmed it was more relief than anything else.”